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Definition:

Organic brain syndrome (OBS) is a general term that refers to diseases (usually not psychiatric disorders) that cause decreased mental function.



Alternative Names:

OBS; Organic mental disorder (OMS); Chronic organic brain syndrome



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

OBS is common in the elderly. It is not a part of the normal aging process, however.

OBS is not a separate disease, but is a general term used to describe physical conditions that can cause mental changes.

Disorders associated with OBS include:

Other conditions that may be related to organic brain syndrome include:



Symptoms:

Symptoms can differ based on the disease. In general, organic brain syndromes cause:



Signs and tests:

Tests depend on the disorder, but may include:



Treatment:

Treatment depends on the disorder. Many of the disorders have mainly supportive care to assist the person in areas where brain function is lost.

Medications may be needed to reduce aggressive behaviors that can occur with some of the conditions.



Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):

See the specific disorder. Some disorders are short-term and treatable, but many are long-term or get worse over time.



Complications:

People with OBS often lose the ability to interact with others or function on their own.



Calling your health care provider:

Call your health care provider if:

  • You have been diagnosed with organic brain syndrome and you are uncertain about the exact disorder.
  • You have symptoms of this condition.
  • You have been diagnosed with OBS and your symptoms become worse.


Prevention:




Review Date: 2/13/2008
Reviewed By: Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Departments of Anatomy & Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
789 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 742-5252
Toll free: 1 (877) 201-7100